Balancing wealth and family unity

The landscape of family offices is undergoing a significant transformation, as evidenced by recent statistics from a report by Citi’s Annual Global Family Office Report.

Currently, 74% of family offices are prioritising wealth management, while an additional 55% are placing emphasis on investment management. However, this shift is not without consequences, as it comes at the expense of fostering family unity and continuity, which stands at 21%, especially during challenging times. This change has the potential to reshape the dynamics within a family, placing greater emphasis on financial strategies over familial bonds.

Interestingly, this trend is less prominent for third-generation families. Having weathered numerous challenges, they have come to appreciate the enduring importance of addressing critical familial issues, even when other matters may seem more immediate. More than half of the top concerns for families revolve around preparing the next generation to be responsible stewards of their wealth and ensuring the establishment of shared family goals and vision. This highlights the indispensable role that family offices play in providing the necessary support and guidance.

Within this evolving landscape, the professionalisation of various functions within family offices is becoming increasingly evident. Notably, investment management is experiencing the most significant advancements, reflecting the growing complexity of financial markets. However, beyond investing, the professionalisation of family office functions yields mixed results, with families themselves sometimes lagging behind.

A particularly concerning aspect is the widespread insufficiency of leadership succession planning for both families and family offices. This gap, combined with the absence of educational programs tailored for the next generation, presents a significant challenge. In the dynamic landscape of family offices, striking a balance between wealth management and family unity is of paramount importance. While prioritising wealth and investment management is crucial for maintaining financial stability, it should never be at the expense of family unity and continuity. Recognising the significance of both aspects enables family offices to establish a legacy that transcends mere financial success.

To achieve this equilibrium, family offices can implement practical strategies. This includes establishing regular family meetings and communication channels. Additionally, leveraging technology and resources can streamline wealth management processes while preserving the essential bonds that hold the family together. Acknowledging the potential implications of this shift allows family offices to proactively address challenges and seize opportunities. By aligning financial acumen with an unwavering commitment to family values, family offices can guide families towards a future that seamlessly integrates financial success with enduring unity.

To read the full Report visit here

About the author:

Matthew Millard-Beer is CEO & Founder, based in Itriom’s London Office.

About Itriom

Itriom is the global impact platform helping leading families shape a better world. Itriom’s platform enables families to refresh and redesign their values, aligns them with the right UN Sustainable Development Goals, combining them in an agreed purpose and a Family Impact Charter. Itriom’s platform supports the development of impact initiatives and whilst providing discrete and secure spaces for peer-to-peer messaging and collaboration. Itriom’s core practices in leadership, geostrategy, and sustainability benefit clients by developing strategies to engage and support the next generation in building a lasting legacy of which families can be proud. 

About Itriom's Leadership Practice

Itriom’s leadership and resilience practice instils all-encompassing leadership in support of principals of leading families and the next generation preparing for family succession, transition and evolution.

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Georgina Murrin

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Tim Boughton

Senior Partner
Practice Leader – Leadership & Resilience

Renowned family office thought leader, Tim works with UHNW families to ensure they are fully equipped to deliver their legacies inter-generationally and effectively.

Dr. Herb Castillo

Associate Partner
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Dr. Herb creates methodologies and frameworks for managing, measuring and assessing sustainability performance. His work identifies where maximum impact can be made.

Simon Hulland-Lucas

Senior Partner
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Simon harnesses research, liaison and networks globally to identify opportunities for Itriom, building the knowledge needed to deliver intergeneration legacies for UHNW families.

Matthew Millard-Beer

Managing Partner
Practice Leader – Strategy

Matthew is Founder & CEO of Itriom, providing solutions and a global platform for Ultra High Net Worth Principals and their families to engage in unifying purpose, enduring legacy, and sustainable impact.